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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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After a couple of hours, he summoned me and said that it had all been a
misunderstanding, and asked me to pacify the men as they would be allowed
to go to any place they wished in Russia. We all chose Buzuluk where our
Polish army was about to be formed. We were then given our affranchise-
ment papers and signed a receipt for them. The next day, the same leader
invited me to have a short private talk in the camp with him, but this talk
never took place. At the entrance to the camp, my papers were taken away
from me, and I was put under bayonet escort and removed by truck to
another very small,, but entirely Russian, camp where the prisoners numbered
about 100 men. My friends saw me being carried away.
" I was subsequently released by sheer good luck, but not, however until
mid-January, 1942. For four months I had received the severest of treat-
ments, being ordered to accomplish a 100 per cent, quota of work. I was
not sent before a Medical Board on arrival and was physically incapable of
even completing 25 per cent. For this reason I was put in a * lock-up'
at night and given only 300 grams of bread (10 ounces). At every turn I
was told that I would soon die under these conditions.
" Owing to a mistake on the part of the organisation of this camp, I was
sent to a third one, and before the papers on which mye case' was recorded
came through, I had been released. Later, I learnt that our ambassador,
on hearing of my re-arrest, had telegraphed several times to Komi. Due
to his intervention, I was finally set free."
The Polish Embassy, from the first moment of its establishment and
reopening in Russia, began to seek for the many eminent Polish citizens
whom they knew had been deported to that country. Many of the released
men passed on news of others still held by the Soviets. The Embassy,
on the behalf of these men informed the Narkomindel (Foreign
Ministry) of their existence. In some cases., after a few months, the men re-
appeared and later on an undated notification regarding their release was
received from the N.K.V.D. The Soviet authorities refused point blank
to release many of the Polish citizens stating they were " suspected of
espionage " or ofcc sympathy towards the Germans " or for having caused
cc a diversion in the rear of the Soviet Army during the Russio-German
War " a statement utterly unconvincing, since Sikorski, in his speech
to his homeland, the day after the German invasion of Russia, had
stretched out his hand in friendship to the Soviet people in the name of the
Polish Government. The situation was obvious to the Poles and the whole
world that Poland was not fighting Russia . . .
The Soviet authorities gave no information regarding the majority of
the detained Polish citizens^ even in the cases where details of their places
of imprisonment had been furnished by the Polish Embassy. For
instance, there were many priests who could not be found,, although a
list of their names had been handed to the Narkomindel. It was also an
established fact that in 1942^ 150 Polish priests were still being held on the
Soloviecki Islands on the White Sea. From another list of 591 doctors
only 30 had been traced.
It soon became obvious that the Soviet authorities intended releasing
only those they wanted to set free and that many sections of the Polish